The Changing Arctic....
Recent Arctic research shows summer sea ice reached one of the lowest levels on record this year. Changes to the environment coupled with other social and economic factors are leading to an array of questions facing Arctic nations.
Who owns the vast resources beneath the Arctic Ocean? What's the role of international cooperation and diplomacy in the far north? How will climate change impact Arctic waterways, infrastructure and ecosystems? How will changes and developments in the Arctic increasingly impact Minnesota?
Experts from Canada and the United States will address these and other questions at the symposium "The Changing Arctic: International Cooperation and Development."
The event will take place on Oct. 27 in the Cowles Auditorium at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, 301 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis, and is being organized by the Consulate General of Canada, the Will Steger Foundation, the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment and the Center for Science, Technology and Public Policy at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
Consul General Martin Loken and polar explorer Will Steger will provide opening remarks to kick-off the half-day symposium.
"Canada and the United States have long collaborated in the Arctic as neighbors and friends," said Consul General Loken. "Now the region is transforming in many ways, presenting both challenges and opportunities for our two countries and others in the international community. This event is a unique opportunity to explore these issues with distinguished experts from Canada, the U.S. and elsewhere."
"The Arctic has been my home for over 45 years," said explorer Will Steger. "To survive in these lands, I have become intimately familiar with their vast landscapes, wildlife, and climates. The changes I see deeply affect me in a way neither a scientific study nor a satellite image could. Climate change is having very real implications on the Arctic ecosystem and will affect our economy, security, international relationships and way of life. This symposium provides a unique opportunity to delve deeper into what a changing Arctic means for all of us."
Speakers from universities in Canada and United States, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and the Swedish government are scheduled to participate in the conference. Whitney Lackenbauer, renowned Arctic author and professor at the University of Waterloo, will provide a keynote address and Commander Mary Ellen Durley of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alder will summarize her ship's participation in joint naval exercises in the Arctic with Canadian and Danish ships in 2010.